Companies in March advertised the most jobs since the peak of the 2008 financial crisis, a sign that hiring is likely to remain healthy in the months ahead.
The Labor Department says job openings rose by 99,000 to 3.1 million in March. That's the highest level of openings since September 2008 and the second straight monthly increase.
The number of available jobs plummeted to 2.1 million in July 2009, one month after the recession ended. But March's total is still significantly below the 4.4 million openings recorded in December 2007, when the recession began.
Even with the increase, there were 4.3 unemployed people, on average, competing for each available job in March. That's still higher than the ratio of 2 to 1 that economists consider healthy.